What does attachment to success look like? It’s the people who preach to everyone about all of their accomplishments, the neighbors who get sucked into “keeping up with the Joneses” and the person at work who can’t wait to tell her colleagues that she just got a bonus. Maybe it’s the father who brags about staying at the office late to work and at the same time misses his kid’s soccer game. In every case, the image of success drives the person’s self-worth and how they present themselves to the world.
Busy, successful people are often battling a noisy mind. Worrying constantly about work, reliving each and every misstep, or being unable to forget a deal gone wrong is nothing more than mental noise. This noise blocks consciousness and leads to unhealthy attachments.
Fear of Failure
Fear of failure actually drives the attachment to success. Some of us simply avoid failure by leading a risk-free life. Others take a lot of risks, keeping plenty of balls up in the air so when and if they do fall, they can protect themselves from feeling vulnerable. Many others choose to live their life in a bubble, trying to constantly convince themselves that they are special.
Everybody wants to be successful. But when our desire for success turns into a compulsive need for achievement, we’ve got a real problem.
Go Deep and Move Forward
How do we get rid of a compulsive need for achievement?
• Define yourself by who you are, not what you have.
• Feel good about yourself from the inside, it’s not about all of the external trappings.
• Tap into your higher order emotions – higher purpose, generosity, empathy.
• Go Deep every day, be mindful with others, listen deeply with an open mind and be fully present in all of your interactions.
Be Conscious like Oprah
What distinguishes Oprah from the rest of us is her unwavering authenticity. “Turning wounds into wisdom,” she never lets her past determine her future. She shares her deepest emotions and speaks to the vulnerability inside all of us. Says Oprah, “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.”
Oprah models the principle of Go Deep, one of the four practices of becoming more Conscious. The others are Think Big, Get Real, and Step Up. You can learn more about how these steps can help you become more Conscious at home and at work in my new book, Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life.